A joint open briefing was conducted to discuss the protection of critical tourism infrastructure. While natural disasters can be managed by implementing effective steps to restore the infrastructural damage, terrorism has a stronger and deeper impact on national security and hence, poses a greater challenge to national reputation, which cannot be easily restored. Chairperson Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė emphasised that terrorists are very well aware of these vulnerabilities and therefore, they continue to instill fear among people to the detriment of the country’s tourism.
Mr. Jean Paul Laborde, suggested four points towards enhancing the protection of tourism against terrorism. Firstly, there is a need for a well-integrated, sophisticated mechanism. Secondly, we should aim to turn perceived vulnerabilities into a source of strength in creative ways. Thirdly, enforcing security and catering to development needs are required since there is a close relation between development and security. Finally, respect for the rights of tourists needs to be integrated.
Mr. Jehangir Khan drew attention to the reasons as to why the CTITF should devote greater attention to the tourism sector with the UNWTO. The tourism industry employs millions of people and hence, it is closely tied to the development of economy. The member states have agreed to step up all their efforts to counter terrorism for which they may require assistance in the form of international cooperation. He also emphasised the value of public-private partnerships in promoting and securing the tourism sector. The collaboration between the states and various agencies will facilitate this process by bringing together collective wealth and expertise, thereby maximising the utility of national efforts.
Mr. Taleb Rifai, stated that the UNWTO is keen on strengthening its engagement with CTITF, in order to catalyse and mobilise counter-terrorism efforts of various UN system entities and to assist Member States in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. UNWTO aims to utilize its technical expertise to provide ongoing assistance to its members to assess and reduce risks related to tourism, particularly enhancing preparedness and mitigating the impact of terrorist attacks.
Meeting Title – Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism (Joint open briefing)
Speakers: Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė, Chair of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee; Mr. Jean Paul Laborde, the Director of CTED (Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate); Mr. Jehangir Khan, Director of Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF); Mr. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Date – June 11th, 2014
Location: United Nations HQ, Trusteeship Council, New York
Written by WIT representative– Nusrat Laskar